Strategy Map & Table – Creative Approaches

A Strategy is simply a coherent set of decision choices designed to improve the probability of achieving one’s objectives.

A Strategy Map or Strategy Table is a tool to facilitate the development of alternative strategies from the Focus Decisions in the Decision Hierarchy. Focus Decisions are placed horizontally across the top of the table, and alternative choices under each decision are generated.  This is the time for creativity and imagination; these choices should display a wide range of possibilities, even some unlikely ones.  They must all be choices you could make (even if you don’t think you would make some of them), but they should represent real, distinct alternatives, not just variations on one another.

The team then creates a number of Strategic Themes – a set of strategies which, when evaluated, will yield the insights necessary to generate an excellent strategy to implement.  Each Strategic Theme should be internally consistent – i.e., the specific choices made under each Focus Decision should make sense when taken together as a plan for moving forward.  Here, too, creativity and “stretching the boundaries” is encouraged.  The Strategic Themes as a whole should “cover the decision space” from conservative to aggressive, from revenue-focused to cost-focused, etc.  Only in this way will Evaluation generate the non-intuitive insights which lead to the development of an optimal Strategy.

Expert Facilitation

A Framing workshop requires a skilled Facilitator to guide the team through the various stages, push the team to expand their perspectives and think creatively, and ultimately arrive at a clear path forward.  Decision Strategies’ consultants have decades of experience facilitating workshops such as these.

Alignment with Objectives

Once Strategic Themes have been developed, they should be assessed against the fundamental objectives which were established during the Discovery phase.  This is usually a qualitative assessment near the end of the Framing workshop.  A common result is the elimination of one or two Strategic Themes before the Evaluation phase.

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